Hacker held after man disappears

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A 24-year-old Cypriot who spent time in a US prison for cybercrimes is the main suspect in the disappearance of a man whose torched vehicle was found in rural Nicosia last week.

He was remanded for eight days by a Limassol court on suspicion of kidnap with the intent to murder following the disappearance of 31-year-old Angelos Pericleous.

Police were put on the alert after Pericleous’ car was found torched on Friday near the Paliometocho shooting range in rural Nicosia.

The 24-year-old ‘hacker’ turned himself in to Limassol police after they issued a warrant for his arrest for arson.

Investigators are also looking into the possibility the suspect kidnapped Pericleous with the intent of murder.

Reports claim that Pericleous told his girlfriend that he received death threats.

The suspect is said not to be cooperating with police.

According to police spokesperson Christos Andreou, investigators believe the 24-year-old was among the last to have seen Pericleous before his disappearance.

Pericleous was last seen walking out of his house with the 24-year-old on Thursday afternoon, just a day before he was reported missing by his girlfriend.

The two men were described as friends, but additional reports said they were involved in a recent violent argument, with the 24-year-old claiming Pericleous had beaten him up.

He also reported on 14 March that Pericleous had stolen €100,000 from him, stealing a Rolex watch and three mobiles.

A few days later, he withdrew the complaint after the two men came to an understanding.

Meanwhile, the suspect, known to law enforcement, is accused by a Russian businessman of stealing €200,000 in cash.

Phileleftheros daily said the €100,000 allegedly stolen by Pericleous was part of the €200,000 reportedly taken from the Russian.

Local reports said the Russian businessman last month claimed he had asked the suspect in late February to deposit the money into a cryptocurrency account, but according to the complaint, the suspect failed to provide passwords.

Police have declined to comment on reports connecting the disappearance case to the crypto crime.

The 24-year-old was the first Cypriot to be extradited to the US for cybercrimes a few years ago.